A couple of weeks ago the Manchester Evening News published some letters (including mine) in response to the privatisation of rubbish collection by Manchester City Council.
Close readers of MCFly will have realised that, when it comes to climate plan implementation, this Council couldn’t run the proverbial whelk stall. Now they seem ready to wash their hands of pretty much everything… MCFly has nowt to do with the organising of this meeting below, but reckons the questions posed are spot on…
Who Runs our Public Services?
Public Meeting to be held on:
28th April 7.15pm to 9.15pm
Methodist Church Hall,(across from Withington Library)
439 Wilmslow Rd,
Manchester M20 4AN
Local Elections are soon, come and find out how your Council Tax is spent:
We need to ask those seeking to represent us some questions:
* If more services are privatised; what role is left for Manchester Council?
* Are private contractors accountable to Manchester residents?
* How is our council tax is spent? Who profits? Who decides?
* What remains of any democratic process in Manchester Council for Manchester residents to have their say?
* Can local councillors influence the privatisation agenda and decide on which companies get contracts?
* Is Manchester Council now just a logo like the “NHS”, for private companies to hide behind?
* Is there any resistance to privatisation?
Manchester Council employed over 30,000 people to run services in 1980. Now they employ 5,000. Those services are now run by private companies whose reason for existence is to make profits for their share-holders. Since the Coalition was elected in
2010, austerity and cuts have swept the country and over half a million public sector workers have lost their jobs.
At the same time, the Coalition has spent billions of pounds in public money for companies like G4S and Serco to take over
G4S runs many Manchester Council services, including security for public places, such as parks and libraries, and cash collection and parking meter services. Serco runs the leisure services. G4S and Serco are under review from the Government, for claiming public money for tagging … dead people. But even then Ministers still expect them to emerge stronger in future.
Councillor Jeff Smith is Labour councillor for Old Moat, Head of “Procurement” in Manchester Council, Board member of Southways Housing, and now Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Withington Constituency. He has done nothing about these companies and in fact is on record as saying that G4S does a very good job for the people of Manchester.
The campaign to stop G4S running public services is supported by Unite NW159 Branch, Unite NW389 Branch, Manchester Trades Union Council and Greater Manchester Association of Trade Union Councils. G4S is the worst example of the deregulation and privatisation. They are not just incompetent, as with the Olympic debacle, but inhumane. Jimmy Mubenga was “unlawfully killed” by three G4S guards when they were deporting him to Angola. G4S supplies the security and surveillance equipment to Israeli prisons where Palestinians, including children, are unlawfully detained. Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike against conditions in Israeli prisons, including torture and long-term renewable Administrative Detention on secret evidence, have called for an international boycott of G4S for its contract to supply these same prisons with electronic security systems. We support their call.
Is it acceptable for Local Authorities to provide services by using “best value”, a process which will reduce workers’ terms and conditions? There is an alternative to the privatisation of our public services, come and hear speakers from:
South Manchester against the Cuts;
The Unite Local Government Branch;
The Green Party;
Stop G4S Campaign.
Organised by South Manchester Against the Cuts, and
Manchester Stop G4S Campaign